Hincapie takes stage two win and leader jersey in San Jose

News & Results

02/22/2006| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Jacques-Maynes, Creed, and Kaggestad working hard. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Jacques-Maynes, Creed, and Kaggestad working hard. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

Hincapie takes stage two win and leader jersey in San Jose

150000 fans watch major classification shake-up.

With the Amgen Tour of California on track to become the largest attended cycling event held on American soil as well as the most attended spectator sporting event in Californian history, George Hincapie of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team proved strongest in today?s gruelling 95-mile mountain stage from Martinez to San Jose. With more than 150,000 fans lining the route, Hincapie captured the stage win and the overall Amgen Leader Jersey in the stage race that will continue daily through February 26. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

 

Following three neutral laps through picturesque downtown <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Martinez
, Mike Creed (USA) of Team TIAA-CREF broke away from the peloton nine miles into the race. After taking maximum points at the Union Bank of California King of the Mountain (KOM) climb up Happy Valley Road, San Jose native Ben Jacques-Maynes (KodakGallery.com-Sierra Nevada) and Credit Agricole?s Mads Kaggestad (NOR) bridged to create a dedicated break of three riders. The trio gained a maximum advantage of 5?50? before the Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile led field began to slowly reel in the escapees over the Calaveras Road Climb.

 

The race turned on the Category One climb to

Sierra Road

. The steep 3.5-mile road proved the ideal launching pad for the pre-race favorites. By the California Travel and Tourism KOM line, a new group of established a lead ? race leader Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis (USA) of Phonak and California Travel and Tourism KOM competition leader Bernhard Kohl (GER) from T-Mobile. The three stretched their lead to 30 seconds on the descent before a chase group of 16 closed the gap. George Hincapie (USA) benefited from the work of his Discovery team mates Michael Barry (CAN), Jason McCartney (USA) and Tom Danielson (USA) and crossed the finish line ahead of Davitamon-Lotto riders Chris Horner (USA) and Josep Jufre Pou (ESP).

 


 

Finishing in fourth place, Gerolsteiner?s Levi Leipheimer (USA) lost his overall lead by 4? to Hincapie based on the 10? bonus for the win. With the top-five riders still within 13? of one another, the undulating Stage Three time trial held Wednesday on the outskirts of San Jose should give more definition to the overall classification.

 

 

We wanted to try to make the race hard with two climbs to go. But that climb was really hard,? said Hincapie following the stage. ?Floyd and Levi are obviously very strong right now and I think they?ve done a lot of recon on the courses, they live here, so they probably knew what to expect. I think they?re climbing a lot better than I was today. But I stayed close, I stayed with my team mates and I knew that once we got together it would be tough for anybody to beat me. It came down to a sprint and I was pretty confident that I could win it.?

 

?The stage could have turned out differently had Zabriskie been able to bridge up on his own. But when he didn't, we did everything we could in order to catch the Leipheimer group and bring the first peloton back

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